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Beef checkoff courts millennial consumers

Beef checkoff courts millennial consumers
Market research for the beef checkoff assesses target markets for beef messaging

The beef checkoff is working to court the millennial generation, its target market, based on extensive research.

According to the checkoff, knowledge about customers is critical as consumers remain in the driver's seat when it comes to buying beef and thousands of other foods and products.

Part of its market research efforts include determining the wants and needs of consumers, and meeting those requirements. It asked the following questions:

• Who represents the target market for beef promotion, and who do they trust?

• What do they care about most when it comes to food and food production, and what are the characteristics of the beef they would serve to their families?

Market research for the beef checkoff assesses target markets for beef messaging (Beef Checkoff photo)

• When do they decide to eat beef and what beef products do they choose most?

• Where are they from/demographics, and where do these consumers go to get information, and where do they shop?

• Why do they want to eat beef and why do they not eat more beef?

• How do they get information about beef, and how do they share that information?

According to the checkoff, the target market for beef promotion and education is the millennial generation.

They trust what they can see, but also the advice of foodies and health professionals. They also want to dig online and find out what their friends and other sources tell them. They love great food, since they grew up in the era of food shows on TV, and beef is included in their definition of "craveable," wonderful food. They want hints, tips, knowledge about choosing a great steak – anything that can help them maximize their enjoyment of beef.

Millennials care about where their food comes from and how it serves their families' needs. They want their beef to be safe, nutritious, flavorful, tender, convenient, easy to prepare, and raised with care for the animals and environment. They want lots of choices and information that will set a good example for their children.

When millennials want to "celebrate" by getting out to the grill, they choose beef more often than any other protein. On an everyday basis, however, they make decisions about what to fix for supper at 4 p.m. or later, and often make decisions while in the grocery store. They choose ground beef for family meals most often but want information to expand their choices to new and different cuts and uses.


Millennials are 80 million strong; more racially diverse; finding their niche in the world; asking more questions about their food; increasing their food spending. They get their information overwhelmingly through social media, including food bloggers, dietitians, "foodies" and other influencers.

About 83% of them sleep with their cell phone right next to their beds. They shop at various retail stores, but they love Trader Joe's, Costco, farmers' markets, and food trucks. By 2020, total spending power of older millennial parents will hit $1.4 trillion a year.

Beef's great taste is the No. 1 reason that millennials and other consumers eat beef, and the most limiting factors to increased beef consumption are "health reasons," "limiting cholesterol or fat," and "other meats seem healthier."

About 45% say they are extremely or very likely to add one more beef meal per week once they discover that beef is nutrient-rich, that many lean cuts are available, and that lean beef compares favorably to chicken.

Millennials overwhelmingly get their information about beef and beef production through online and social-media channels. More than 90% of Americans eat beef at least monthly, and 35% have more than three servings of beef a week, with similar numbers for millennials.

Source: Beef Checkoff

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